Too many passengers?


The recent complaint by senior secretary for finance, Elias Mushayakarara, the man who should know where our money is going, that there were too many passengers within the civil service who were paid for doing nothing should be taken seriously.

It should also cast a heavy shadow of doubt on the auditor-general’s office that it has a fairly competent and qualified staff. If the doubts expressed by Mushayakarara be true, then someone ought to look closely into how our monies are being accounted for.

“The question of competence is a much wider question. The system, as it stands in the civil service, is far from satisfactory. We have lots of passengers that we just carry and if one were to start clearing his department, you would spend all your time doing that and that will be at the expense of your own work,” Mushayakarara said.

“Competence is something that is not quite common in the civil service. I am sorry for being this blunt. I live with this problem, where you spend a lot of time trying to correct what has been messed up by other people. This is the situation as it stands.”

If the situation is that hopeless, one wonders what the so-called efficiency units set up to streamline the civil service to 75 percent its present level by 1995 are doing? One can argue that the units themselves may not be efficient enough to efficiently carry out the exercise, hence the slow progress they have made so far.

They have only so far identified about 7 000 people that must be laid off. Although the exercise is to be carried out over five years this does not seem to be a good start since the more that are laid off at the start the better since they will have enough time to seek alternative jobs or means of earning a living.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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